Breastfeeding benefits your baby in so many ways!
Breastfeeding offers numerous health benefits both for you and your baby.
You have spent nine months nourishing your precious baby in your womb; why start feeding him nutritionally inferior cows' milk when you have your own wonderful breastmilk?
• Your breastmilk is organic and tailormade for your baby. A living substance, it is much superior to formula milk.
Your breastmilk is specific to your baby’s requirements.
In the first few days of breastfeeding, colostrum, is produced. A creamy, yellowish formula, rich in antibodies, it protects your baby from illness whilst his own immune system develops.
Mature breastmilk replaces colostrum within a few days. This milk has two distinct qualities. At the beginning of a feed the baby receives light thirst-quenching fore-milk. Shortly afterwards hind-milk is produced. Hind-milk is thick, creamy and nourishing and satisfies the baby’s hunger.
• Breastmilk changes consistency according to such things as hot weather - when it will be more thirst-quenching. Breastfed babies do not require water between feeds.
• Breastmilk prepares the baby for the variety of tastes he will come across in later life. Constantly changing flavour it is sometimes sweet, spicy, nutty and so on. Therefore, it is a gentle introduction to the outside world.
• Breastmilk is nutritionally superior to cows milk; and easier to digest. So it allows the baby’s digestive system a chance to develop - making intolerances and allergies less likely. UNICEF states that breastmilk:
‘contains all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones, antioxidants and other factors an infant needs to thrive.'
• Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from childhood cancers, eczema and asthma. And if a breastfed baby does get ill, the illness is often less severe than it would otherwise have been.
• Breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of inner ear infections, such as glue ear. A breastfed baby's sucking action is different to that of a bottle-fed baby. So, it helps to keep the ears healthy.
• Breastfed babies brains develop more quickly.They have higher IQ's. Jaws and teeth develop with fewer problems than bottlefed babies. Speech development is also more advanced.
• Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer cotdeath.
• Mum's immune system is constantly on the look out for infection and illness. When it detects anything white blood cells flood her milk and therefore baby has an improved immune response. As a result gastroenteritis, a nasty tummy bug, is much less prevalent in breastfed babies.
• Breastmilk is always available on demand and is always the correct temperature and consistency for the baby.
• No sterilising is required!
• Baby can always be comforted when distressed or ill. Sucking on a lovely soft mummy-smelling breast is extremely comforting. It is also much less harmful to teeth than a sugary drink or feed.
• No packaging or processing is involved in supplying breastmilk; so breastfeeding protects the environment. Baby will grow up in a cleaner world!
Dr Jack Newman:
Treat Yourself to Me Time!
Or, if you're currently struggling with a busy lifestyle and the added demands of parenting, try our Perfect Relaxation for Parents mp3 - take time out for yourself and awaken refreshed and ready to face whatever life throws at you!
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